Women Psychologists

Myths and folklores used to be the forms of explaining life and humanity. Later, the discipline of philosophy took over this role. But when scientific studies were introduced, early scholars realised that philosophy was not enough. It is then that a new discipline was born: Psychology.

Psychology is continuously developing as a study and as a practice. And, even though several men dominated the scene at first, women also began to make significant contributions in its development. Some of these great women and their contributions are as follows:

* Mary Calkins (1863-1930) - Her major contribution was the establishment of a laboratory for psychology at Wellesley.

* Margaret Washburn (1871-1939) - She was the first woman to receive a PhD in psychology. She received the degree in 1894.

* Mamie Clark (1917 - 1983) - Her major contribution was the study of identity and self concept in African American children. This was in coordination with Kenneth Clark.

* Karen Horney (1885 - 1952) - One of the most prominent women psychologists. She shot down Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and proposed a sociocultural approach. She was also the co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, The American Institute for Psychoanalysis, and The American Journal of Psychoanalysis.

* Dorthea Dix (1802-1887) - Her major contribution was on the humanitarian reform in American mental institutions.

* Anna Freud982) - She was the founder of child psychoanalysis and the daughter of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychology.

* Christine Ladd-Franklin930) - Her major contributions were in the fields of women’s and experimental psychology.

* Judith Rodin (1944 - ) - Her major contribution was the study of the influence of perceived control over the individual’s environment. This study was in coordination with Ellen Langer.

* Ruth Howard (1900 - ) - She was the first African American woman to receive a PhD in psychology. She received the degree in 1934.

* Sandra Bem (1944 - ) - Together with Janet Spence, they developed tests in adrogyny assessment.

* Eleanor Maccoby (1917 - ) - Her major contribution was a study on the importance of gender and sex in behavior analysis. This study was in coordination with Carol Jacklin in 1974.

* Florence Levin Denmark) - Her major work dealt with racial integration in preschool and the effects of college on women. She was also the first to integrate psychology of women in introductory psychology courses.

* Florence Kaslow - She was the first female dean of a professional school (Florida School of Professional Psychology).

I’m sure there are other “unsung heroines� in the field of psychology. If you know someone who should be part of this list, please let me know.

Related Links

* Breakthroughs For Women Psychologists
The National Psychologist, an independent publication for practitioners, highlighted an article about women psychologists’ achievements during the last quarter of the 20th century.

* Directory of Women Psychologists
A directory of practitioners and organizations based in Minnesota.

* Famous Women in Testing
Short biographies with photos of women who contributed significantly in the field of psychological testing.

* Minnesota Women Psychologists
The web site of this organization of women psychologists in Minnesota. Information on memberships, publications, and events
are available right here.

* Psychology of Women Syllabus
Sample syllabus of the course, Psychology of Women, from Washington State University.

* Women Groundbreakers in Canadian Psychology
An article on women psychologists’ contributions starting World War II and beyond. This is written by Mary J. Wright (University of Western Ontario) and first published at the Canadian Psychology.

* Women Psychologists are Faring Well
An interesting article at the APA Monitor about the contributions of women psychologists in the field.

* Women Psychologists in Central Office
An article exploring the number and role of women who are playing an important part at the American Psychological Association (APA).


* Saeman (Ed.), Henry (2000). Breakthroughs For Women Psychologists Highlighted Last Quarter Of 20th Century. The National Psychologist, Vol. 9, No. 2.

* Santrock, John (2000). Psychology (International Edition). USA: McGraw Hill.

About the Author Shai Coggins

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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